– BACK IN THE HEADLINES
In the last weeks there is a steady grow in the violence in Iraq. Iraq, which almost disappeared from the world’s headlines is, once again, a major concern. There are several reasons to the wave of violence in Iraq:
A. The war in Iraq, like all wars, has its ups and downs. Israel’s experience in fighting the Hizbullah in the security Zone in South Lebanon from 1990-2000 is that new tactics, new methods and new technology surprised the enemy. More than once Israeli generals declared victory in Lebanon. But the enemy, not less talented, adapted himself very soon to the new reality and responded with new tactics of his own in a cycle of constant evolution of measures and anti measures.
B. There is an effort to confine as many as possible American troops to Iraq in order to disrupt USA policy to shift sources, troops and the focus to the war in Afghanistan (see – Obama’s deployment).
C. There is a growing concern in the Sunni community of Iraq that the country will turn to be an Iranian Shiite protectorate once USA will significantly reduce its military presence in Iraq (see – 18 MONTHS TO GO). This concern is a major issue in all surrounding Sunni Arab Countries, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Emirates, Jordan and Egypt. Iraqi government is already ruled by Shiites with many elements closely related to Iran. The Sunni Iraqi community, backed by the Arab world, is determined not to let it happened. Iraq might, easily, plunge to a sectarian war and becomes the main battlefield between Shiite Iran and the Sunni Arab world.
That fear is boosted by the new American policy to reach out to Iran unconditionally. The Arab world refers to the American withdrawal from Iraq and the policy toward the Iranian nuclear capacity as linked to each other. There is a growing fear that either USA does not fully understand the Iranian threat or understands the threat but is ready to give up its relations with the Sunni countries of the Middle East in order to reach a regional comprehensive settlement with Iran – a new order in the Middle East based on an USA-Iranian axis.
USA needs, therefore, to signal a strong and clear massage, in order to calm the Arab world, that USA is completely committed to contain the Iranian threat to the Middle East stability otherwise the violence in Iraq, and in the Middle East, will reach new heights.